11 May 2010

Homeschoolers: an Action Request in Missouri from HSLDA-- and a Headline from Texas Sure to Warm Your Heart

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is asking Missouri homeschooling supporters to take action. From their email update:

Missouri--Act Immediately to Prevent
Expansion of Compulsory School Attendance

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Yesterday the Missouri Senate amended HB 1543 to lower from 7 to 6 the
age at which compulsory school attendance starts in St. Louis and
Kansas City. This bill is moving very quickly, and we must act
promptly to block this expansion of government control over the lives
of young children and their parents.

This amendment is known as "the Keaveny Amendment."


Call both your state senator AND representative. Your message can be
as simple as, "Please remove the Keaveny Amendment from HB 1543.
Parents--not the government--should decide whether 6-year-olds are
ready to start schooling."

Use our legislative toolbox to find the name and contact information
for your senator and representative.


It's bad enough that the Keaveny Amendment would put 6-year-olds under
educational compulsion in St. Louis and Kansas City. But if this
passes, it would surely eventually be forced on the entire state.
This is exactly what happened when "only" St. Louis was authorized to
raise the compulsory age a while back. In short order, the age was
raised for the entire state. Wherever you live in Missouri, your
freedom is threatened.

Under the Keaveny Amendment, any child parents "intend" to homeschool
would not be subject to the lower compulsory age. But allowing the
application of law to hinge on something as vague and subjective as a
parent's mere "intention" invites a court challenge. And it invites
the public to look on all homeschoolers with a jaundiced eye. Either
the exception will be struck down by a court, or it will encourage the
public to think less of homeschool families.

Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child's formal
education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic
performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents
who are in the best position to determine when their child's formal
education should begin. The bill would restrict parents' freedom to
decide if their children are ready for school.

Expanding the compulsory attendance age would bring an inevitable tax
increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate
the additional students compelled to attend public school.

Families for Home Education and HSLDA are united in opposing the
Keaveny Amendment.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2051.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
HSLDA Senior Counsel


And, in case you're wondering if you really need to be that vigilant in the United States--after all, who would be against homeschooling? Check out this headline from the Houston Chronicle:

Home-school is so popular, some are getting suspicious

You can be sure that the "some" who are "getting suspicious" are the teacher union thugs and the wardens of the failed prison schools.


Anonymous said...

Do you even read the links you post? The ones suspicious of the homeschooling numbers are those who think schools are classifying dropouts that way to avoid having them counted in the dropout rate.

Some quotes:

While home-schooling's popularity has increased, the rate of growth concentrated in Texas' high school population is off the chart: It's nearly tripled in the last decade, including a 24 percent jump in a single year.

“That's just ridiculous,” said Brian D. Ray, founder of the National Home Education Research Institute. “It doesn't sound very believable.”

and later in the story...

Even the state's biggest proponents of home-schooling admit that the structure is vulnerable to fraud.

“That seems to me to be a loophole,” said Tim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition.

The problem is not among legitimate home-schoolers, but among public school officials trying to run off problem students, Lambert said.

“We call it dumping,” he explained.

thetimman said...

The answer to your insouciant question is yes. You will note that I focused on the headline, not the story, because the headline was a shock. My subsequent comment about those concerned is of course my opinion, but though the thrust of the article concerned the actions of the school districts improperly labelling so-called drop-outs (which I read before I posted it), even that hides an agenda of the groups I note. To wit, from the article:

"In some states, parents are required to file sworn affidavits when they withdraw their children. Many states also require families to submit curriculum, attendance records or test scores when they opt to home-school.

In Texas, the Texas Education Agency requires a “signed statement from a parent/guardian or qualified student” or “documentation of an oral statement by the parent/guardian or qualified student made within 10 days of the time the student quits attending school in the district, signed and dated by an authorized representative of the district” noting that they intend to attend home-school."

What stories like this are intended to do is to push for schools to have more intrusive control over whether people can homeschool. It is none of the school district's business if a family chooses to do this. Requiring a family to file paperwork with the district is wrong.

And of course you may think I am insane. Fine. But as the article that I read and linked to states, I am not the only one:

"But advocates adamantly resist any efforts to tighten regulations on home-schoolers."

X said...

"Insouciant?" Get over yourself.

Mitch said...

timman since your such a proponent of homeschooling I wonder what you think of Distributism?

Colleen Hammond said...

As someone who lives in Texas (and posted the same article for the SAME REASON), the government (which equals the teacher's unions) still wants to get its hands on us, but thankfully Texas is still a homeschooling friendly state.